LEGAL AID: Can we get full parental rights to children from previous relationships?

Wednesday June 12 2019

My fiancée and I have daughters from our previous relationships. How do we go about getting full parental rights? PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP



I am a 44-year-old man living with my fiancée and hoping to get married soon.

We both have daughters from our previous relationships who live with us, and we would like to have full parent rights to the children.

Please advise us on how we should go about this matter as the names of their other biological parents appear in their birth certificates.

The second issue is: Will it be possible to change the children’s names to suit our current arrangement?

Thank you in advance.



Your scenario deserves compliments. You two demonstrate a desire to ensure good care of the children. However, it is difficult to give a conclusive answer since you have not stated the relationship between the other parents and the children. Nevertheless, based on the information provided, your question raises three issues.

First, the act of marrying your fiancée will bestow parental responsibility.

Second, full parental responsibility can be obtained through a court process called adoption proceedings. The court will consider the role of the other parents in the children’s lives and the best interest of the child.

Lastly, Births and Deaths Registration Act does not provide for the changing of names after formal registration has been done. However, after acquiring parental responsibility, you are at liberty to add a name/s without deleting any of the original ones.


Eric Mukoya is the Executive Director, Legal Resources Foundation Trust. Do you have a legal problem you would like addressed by a lawyer? Please email your queries to [email protected]